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We’ve Been Here Before

When 45305 took charge of “The Weardale” excursion yesterday the strapline for the trip was very much “We’ve been here before”: The passenger portion of the trip began, ended and passed through Newcastle Station very close to the site of the Scotswood Works where she was built 75 years ago.

We began the day with an ecs working up from York, with 45305 hauled tender first at the rear of the train. The motive power for this move was provided by a Class 47 which left the train at Greensfield Junction, at which 45305 took charge and hauled the train into the station to collect the passengers.

Arriving in Newcastle  over the Tyne in the early morning

5305 in Newcastle Station.

We then took a leisurely scenic tour of the coast in the early morning sunshine.

Waiting for the road.

The route was mostly on freight lines, via Newsome, Bedlington and Hepscott, finally rejoining the main line at Morpeth for a spirited run back to Newcastle.

Servicing at Tyne Yard

After our second visit to Newcastle, we headed for Tyne Yard where we took water and coal, then off to Durham, Darlington, Shildon, Bishop Aukland and thence up the Wear Valley to Stanhope on the Weardale Railway. Those of you who are familiar with the geography of the area will notice that this route meant that we passed through Durham and Darlington for the second time on this leg of the journey – raising a cheer from the crowd at Durham as we hurried through. The Weardale Branch, as is usual with branch lines at this time of year, had a fair few slippery bits of track where dead leaves were lying in shadow, but the slips were well controlled and as soon as the engine got back out into the autumn sunshine she put her feet firmly on the rails again and carried on.

Servicing at Stanhope.

We serviced at Stanhope then ran round ready for a tender-first trip back down the valley to Bishop Aukland and Darlington, where we ran round the train for a chimney first run through Durham to Newcastle. The run between Darlington and Durham was a flyer, we had a clear road and 45305 was able to stretch her legs and show off a bit. Sadly we were then booked inside at Durham sidings where we sat watching other trains pass us until “Time”, then we had a short trip back into Newcastle for the third time of the day.The passengers left us there and the diesel came on the for the return ecs working to York, via Tyne Yard for water and to run the diesel onto the front of the train, then through Durham and Darlington etc for the fourth time in the same day and back to York for servicing and some well earned sleep. For anyone interested in the history of railways, this journey was definitely one to treasure with enough historic sites, curves, stations and glass roofs to keep anyone happy for years.


By Info | Sunday, October 16, 2011 | Tags : 45305

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